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Late Nite Laundry Shows The Beauty In Going With The Flow

Written by on July 1, 2021

Despite the loss of their original lead singer and a live show hiatus during the pandemic, Chicago-based psychedelic soul quartet Late Nite Laundry showcases their strengths in new single “Free Time.”

Photos by Sarah Baniak

Late Nite Laundry, consisting of Emily Burlew, Brendan Cabrera, Ari Lindo and Alex Santilli, was on an upward swing after the release of their jazzy debut EP Thru the Wash in 2019, booking shows and tours into Spring 2020.

Then COVID-19 stopped their momentum short; left in limbo for the first several months of the pandemic, the band’s original lead singer decided to leave the group.

“I think we all felt pretty heart wrenched when that happened,” Cabrera said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “It was pretty shocking and I think for a second, we felt like this group ended. We weren’t really sure what direction to go in.”

Wavering for only a few hours after their singer’s departure, Late Nite Laundry found that their strength as musicians was not reliant upon one band member alone. Perhaps their ability to persevere is in their blood: the band members are all first or second-generation immigrants from Cabo Verde, Nicaragua, Cuba and Argentina, respectively. Realizing their signature sound and chemistry remained intact as a quartet, the band got to writing.

With an 80s synth flair and funk-driven basslines, “Free Time” is Late Nite Laundry’s latest single — and their second following the loss of their bandmate. Retaining the smooth and relaxed elements that were key to Thru The Wash, “Free Time” steps away from the band’s contemporary jazz roots and incorporates fresh psychedelic funk — focusing less on the importance of vocals and stepping up attention to detail in their instrumentation. The accompanying music video amps up the track’s surrealist qualities, playfully encompassing listeners in a world of swirling lights and abstract imagery.

Follow Late Night Laundry on Twitter and Instagram, and stream “Free Time” on Spotify below.

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